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A. Any low income senior or disabled citizen who satisfies the reduced rate criteria in this section and who lives in a residence receiving a separate city of Bellingham water or sewer service and water or sewer bill is entitled to a rate reduction for water, sewer and storm and surface water utilities.

B. A senior aged 62 or older or a disabled person with a gross household income of $35,000 or less in 2012 (adjusted annually thereafter using the Whatcom County low income property tax exemption qualifying annual household income eligibility limit) is entitled to have their water, sewer and storm and surface water rates reduced by the following amounts:

Household Income

Percent Reduction

0 – 50 percent of the qualifying income


Greater than 50 percent – 75 percent of the qualifying income


Greater than 75 percent – 100 percent of the qualifying income


For purposes of this section, “gross income” shall have the same definition as provided in 26 USC 61, as currently enacted or hereafter amended.

C. Nonprofit agencies providing affordable housing for low income households and public housing authorities, such as the Bellingham housing authority or other similar entity, receiving public funds for low income housing may obtain a rate reduction of 10 percent if the premises have rents restricted by a federal, state or city housing program for households earning less than 60 percent of area median income (AMI).

D. All persons claiming the discount provided for in this section shall first be required to file an application with the city requesting the reduction. The application shall provide information sufficient for the city to verify the applicant’s eligibility to participate in this reduced rate program. Customers receiving the rate reduction must renew their application annually in accordance with administrative procedures promulgated by the finance director. [Ord. 2012-12-059 § 1; Ord. 2006-06-063; Ord. 2005-07-056; Ord. 2003-05-024 § 2; Ord. 2001-02-007; Ord. 10056 § 3, 1990; Ord. 9846 § 2, 1988; Ord. 9618 § 3, 1986; Ord. 9371 § 1, 1984; Ord. 9164 § 1, 1982; Ord. 8982 § 7, 1981].